Where Are They Now? The Fulham Squad Who Reached the Europa League Final in 2010

11 May 2020 06:54

Ten years ago an English club defied the odds and produced a legendary run in a European cup competition. And no, it wasn't Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool in the Champions League.


The team we're talking about is the 2009/10 Fulham side. Managed by Roy Hodgson, the west London side (in only their second-ever season in European football) went to knock out the likes of Wolfsburg and Juventus, in order to book a final appearance against Atlético Madrid in Hamburg.


And though they suffered heartbreak in losing 2-1 after extra-time to Los Rojiblancos, it was still a memorable occasion for the Cottagers, with the game remaining a high point for a side who have spent as many years in the Championship than Premier League since.


A decade on, here's what Fulham's Europa League final reaching heroes got up to after their scarcely believable run.



The Starting XI


GK - Mark Schwarzer


Having impressed for the Cottagers during their European run, Arsenal unsuccessfully pursued Mark Schwarzer the following summer.


The Aussie did go on to win back-to-back Premier League titles technically - first at Chelsea, and then Leicester in 2015 and 2016 - however, he was a backup at both clubs.


He retired in 2016 and is third on the Premier League's all-time clean sheet list with 151 - behind only David James and Petr Cech.



RB - Chris Baird


Derby County v Rotherham United - Sky Bet Championship

The man Fulham fans dubbed 'Bairdinho', Chris Baird remained at the club until being released in 2013.


After spells at Reading and Burnley, he returned to the Premier League with West Brom, before leaving for Derby a season later.


He would return to Fulham for a brief loan spell, before retiring in 2016, having made over 300 senior appearances at club level and 79 with Northern Ireland.



CB - Aaron Hughes


Hearts v Newcastle - Pre Season Friendly

A solid centre-back for the Cottagers, Aaron Hughes stayed at Craven Cottage until moving to QPR in 2014.


After stints at Brighton, Melbourne Cit, Kerala Blasters and Hearts he called it a day in 2019, aged 39.


Amazing he made 455 Premier League appearances without getting sent off - second only in disciplined longevity top Ryan Giggs.



CB - Brede Hangeland


Watford v Crystal Palace - Premier League

A crucial part of Fulham's defence during the Hodgson years and improbably European run, Brede Hangeland (the big Norwegian who was actually born in Texas) made over 200 appearances for the club before he was released in 2014.


He would join Crystal Palace afterwards, playing there for two seasons before retiring.


The giant Norwegian is also remembered for revealing that former boss Felix Magath told him to put cheese on his thigh to recover from his injury.



LB - Paul Konchesky


Liverpool v West Ham United - Premier League

The only player Hodgson took with him from Fulham to Liverpool, following his doomed move to become Anfield boss.


A dutiful servant for the Cottagers, Konchesky looked supremely out of his depth at Liverpool who never took to Roy's ways.


Konchesky left for Nottingham Forest on loan, then Leicester (permanently) after just 18 appearances for the Reds.


After Claudio Ranieri took over at the Foxes, the left-back was loaned out to QPR - thus missing the miracle title win in 2016 - and was last seen turning out for East Thurrock United in 2018/19 in the National League South.



RM - Damien Duff


Hibernian v Celtic - Scottish Cup Quarter Final

Damien Duff continued to play regularly for the west London club following the 2010 season, before he was released in 2014.


He then spent a year at Melbourne City in the A-League, playing alongside David Villa, before finishing up his playing career at Shamrock Rovers in his native Ireland.


The 41-year-old is now a coach for both Celtic and the Irish national side.



CM - Dickson Etuhu


AIK v Helsingborgs IF - Allsvenskan

The defensive anchor of the side, Dickson Etuhu played two more seasons at Craven Cottage before moving to Blackburn Rovers in 2012. After just playing 23 games, he moved to AIK in Sweden.


More recently, he was handed a five-year-ban for match-fixing in the Scandinavian country. It's fair to say the final was the peak of his career.



CM - Danny Murphy


The captain of the Cottagers at the time, Danny Murphy continued to play a key role for Fulham, before moving to Blackburn in 2012 after failing to agree an extension with the club.


The former Liverpool star now a regular pundit on the BBC's Match of the Day, where his opinions haven't always landed.



LM - Simon Davies


Atletico Madrid v Fulham - UEFA Europa League Final

The goalscorer for Hodgson's side in the final, Simon Davies struggled with injuries during the following campaigns for the Cottagers, which led to his release in 2013.


He then went on to play amateur football in Pembrokeshire and now coaches at League One side Peterborough.



CAM - Zoltán Gera


Voted the Fans' Player of the Season after the final, Zoltán Gera (who scored twice against Juventus) fell out of favour under new manager Mark Hughes and later reunited with Hodgson at West Brom in 2011.


He spent three years there before moving back to his native Hungary to play for Ferencváros, where he won the Hungarian League in 2016.


He still scored some absolute screamers, with his goal against Portugal awarded the goal of the tournament at the 2016 Euros.



ST - Bobby Zamora


Having dominated Italian great Fabio Cannavaro earlier on in the competition, Bobby Zamora was unable to score for the west London side in the final.


The cult hero was tipped for the England World Cup squad under Fabio Capello in 2010 but missed the final cut.


He spent one more season at Fulham, before moving to rivals QPR, where he helped them get promoted to the Premier League, scoring the only goal of the Championship playoff final against Derby.



Substitutes


Pascal Zuberbühler (GK) - Didn't play a single game for Fulham, and the Swiss international was last seen in England as Derby County's goalkeeping coach between the years of 2015-2017.


John Paintsil (RB) - Lost his place in the team and briefly played for Leicester, before moving to Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2012. Now acts as a scout for the Ghanaian club Wa All Stars.


Bjørn Helge Riise (CM) - The younger brother of former Liverpool player John, Riise fell out of favour under Hughes. After a loan spell at Sheffield United, he returned to Norway.


Clint Dempsey (ST) - Famously once nearly swapped for the now-Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, Dempsey would go on to finish fourth in the Football Writers' Player of the Year award in 2011. He then moved to Spurs briefly, before returning to play for the Seattle Sounders in the MLS. He has also sidelined as a rapper under the name 'Duece'.


Jonathan Greening (CM) - After making his loan deal permanent in the aftermath of the final, Greening only played ten games for Fulham before moving to Nottingham Forest and retiring in 2014.


Kagisho Dikgacoi (CM) - Playing just 14 games for the west London club, Kagisho Dikagcoi would move to Crystal Palace, where he spent three years. A move to Cardiff City followed, before he finished up his career in South Africa.


Erik Nevland (ST) - In the summer of 2010, Nevland chose to return to Viking in his native Norway, where he played for two years before retiring.



Manager


Roy Hodgson


FBL-ENG-PR-CRYSTAL PALACE-NEWCASTLE

Everyone's favourite football uncle, Roy Hodgson left Fulham after the final to take over Liverpool following Rafa Benitez's exit. Tasked with getting the club out from a period of stagnation, he lasted just half a season before being sacked for some truly uninspiring football.


However, he rebuilt his own reputation at West Brom, which led to his appointment as England boss and safe pair of hands ahead of the 2012 Euros.


While he guided the Three Lions to the World Cup in 2014 and Euros in 2016, the results were.not good.


Now at Crystal Palace, he's the oldest manager to be employed in the Premier League, and signed an extension recently to keep him at Selhurst Park until 2021.



Source: 90min